The height of dimplomacy.
While the Zipp 404 has long held its own as a versatile and aerodynamic road wheel, its strangle hold on the high-end, hyper-competitve cyclocross market has been broken as rim brakes have quickly gone the way of the Dodo in nearly all off-road inclinations. Not to be de-throned so easily, Zipp brings the venerable 404 platform into the modern cycling age with the 404 Firecrest Carbon Disc Brake Road Tubular Wheel, looking to take back its place at the pointy end of the now disc-equipped pack.
While Zipp built these wheels to be exceptionally versatile, let's not forget about the aerodynamics. A 58mm deep rim features Zipp's signature Aerodynamic Boundary Layer Control (ABLC) dimpling, which uses strategically placed and sized dimples across the rim surface to smooth airflow and reduce drag. This in turn allows the wheel to slice through the air like an arrow zooming towards its target. The big news with ABLC is that it boasts aerodynamic advantages at real-world yaw angles of ten to twenty degrees, compared to many wheels out there that feature minimum drag numbers at yaw angles of five to ten degrees that rarely occur outside of a wind tunnel. In non-techy talk, that means these wheels outperform the competition in the windy conditions you'll encounter in the saddle.
At the center, Zipp uses its 77 disc hub on the front and its 177 disc hub on the rear for a smooth ride every time you clip in. Featuring a new platform and graphics for 2016, these hubs boast increased bearing protection over their predecessors and are ready to roll without any pre-load adjustment. The rear hub is compatible with a separately sold XD driver body, allowing options for a wider cassette range of up to a 10-42 if needed. As an added bonus, driver bodies can be swapped out without having to re--dish the wheel to get back up and running. Each wheel includes an updated quick release skewer with a widened handle that provides better leverage for setting the wheel and sits close to the frame when close for cleaner lines than previous skewers.
Each the Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Disc Brake Road Tubular Wheel comes with 12 x 100mm and 15 x 100mm end caps for the front wheel, or 12 x 135mm and 12 x 142mm end caps for the rear wheel. Each wheel also includes a Zipp Tangente quick release skewer, rim tape, and a core valve extension. The rear wheel is available with either a Shimano/SRAM or Campagnolo 11-speed compatible freehub body.